Thinking too much

I have just (friday) had my last round of Radiotherapy after being diagnosed with BC in May.Im 46 and my Mother and Nan had this awful disease too…so it’s definatley in the family.Since friday I have been very reflective of the last 3/4 months and have had a brain overload of information.
I have always been over weight but not really obese and have tried everything going known to mankind to try and shift it…I can do 2 stone then lose motivation.I would like to lose 3 stone and if this isn’t a wake up call I dont know what is.I am now finding myself feeling uncontrolably consious of what goes in my mouth…I have a fantastic husband and 3 wonderful kids and cant bring myself to say this to them as I feel a bit stupid but I think if I have just 1 small glass of wine or too many carbs or some meats or dairy I am going to make my cancer come back.I hate all the sterio typical hype and maybe Im being a bit too hard on myself just now and with BC being in the family this could have still happened to me if I was 7stone …its very early days for me I understand that and have been on Tamoxifen for only 3 weeks so my hormones are all over the place I just feel like Im thinking too much about thinking!! Hope this makes sence…maybe I should mention it to my breast nurses to see a dietician allthough I know exactly what I have to do but for those overweight people out there its never that easy.Dont know what sort of response Im looking for but feel better for just spouting it out.
Thanks for taking time to read this

Kate, I finished the radiotherapy in June, and here it is two months later and I know EXACTLY what you mean. Every single word resonates. Both my grandmothers had breast cancer, and there are lots of other reasons why I might have developed it, but I am “sure” it is MY FAULT because I drank too much and ate too much. I’ve way cut back on my drinking, but every time I’m drinking a glass of wine it tastes like ashes in my mouth. And I can’t seem to get my head in the “weight loss” mode to loose that two-stone, but I am torturing myself at night (those damned dark nights) with thoughts that I am “bringing back the cancer”.
I told my husband all this and he was quite distressed with how irrational he thought my fear was, until one of my friends who had her go-round with breast cancer 30 years ago telephoned and when he expressed his concern to her she said “Oh no, that’s normal–I still feel that way!” And she is one of the most positive upbeat women I know! One of the oncology team told me that this post-treatment fear is normal, and, she promises, gets better with time as we learn to get our heads around what is and what is not rational. But it doesn’t help much, does it?
(And I’m not even on tamoxifen!–although that just makes it worse, I keep hearing my dour surgeon saying “Your cancer is ER negative, so that makes your prognosis slightly worse”)

Kate - seems like you are hormone positive so cutting back on dairy or eliminating it from your diet will help…you don´t mention exercise and that really is as important as diet…there are some good books on cancer diets that will really help you to lose weight too and meet all your other criteria - the Rainbow Diet has a points system and you need to be at 100 points every day - how you get to those does not matter, you lose for wine but gain for walking…its a useful barometer for being healthy!!
Good luck - this disease is a head messer…

Hello Kate and Quail,

I am a quite bit further down the road than you - just coming up to two years since my diagnosis. I joined this forum just as I finished my treatment having lurked without joining on and off for quite a while. Here’s the thing - I am a boring goody goody, don’t drink, don’t smoke, eat (mostly) healthily, only a little bit overweight, and exercise daily… and I still got breast cancer. It happens and we intuitively feel it must somehow be our fault (someone told me it was because I hadn’t had children…). My very wise oncologist said “it is just one of those things that happens”. I was told to eat healthily and to exercises, as these would give me the best chance of a healthy future - but of course no guarantees. This time last year I was anxiously watching what went in my mouth, jumping at every news report etc, etc. Now I just hang around here as an old lag who just might have something useful to say (and who feels that despite its glitches this forum is still bascially a good thing). I have found my own level, have made some adjustments that work for me, and have become very boring with my rule of thumb which I offer to anyone who asks… “I if decide ‘X’ and the cancer comes back will I wish I’d decied ‘Y’ instead?” Losing a bit of excess weight might be a good thing, but is not the be all and end all - unless you think you’ll feel guilty in the worst case scenario.

The rainbow diet and others are worth looking at - if that’s something you will find helpful - but don’t spend all your time researching maybes, just do your best to enjoy your life, and, based on my experience, you will find the ogre/spectre shrinks as time goes by, even if it never quite goes away.

Gentle hugs and hope you are enjoying your Sunday.

Kate, I have also found post treatment difficult. The anti oestragen pills I am on (arimodex as I am post menopausal) have increased my anxiety and I too think a lot about all of this. I have actually put on weight as I have been tired and know it should be the other way round as I am hormone positive. Bit of a viscious circle with tiredness after treatment, comfort eating and anxious. You are not alone and especially about the anxiety of what you are eating and drinking and fear of the cancer returning. In fact it sounds normal to me especially as you have nly just finished treatment. Speak to your BC nurse, the more I have shared all this stuff the better it is.
Maggie Mayxx

I recently went to the BCC Younger Womens workshop and one of the speakers was a nutritionist, she advised that although there are lots of theories around diet there is absolutely no evidence apart from what we already know in terms of maintaining a healthy diet, one thing she did say though about dairy was that out of all the studies that had been done there were only two that were credible and both of them said that dairy was a benefit and should not be cut out of the diet.
I know it’s very confusing, I too have anti cancer diet books as I would like to try and take back some level of control but I also know it’s far more complex than that.
Love Lydia x

Hi rev cat, Lovely post and good to hear you are getting on well. Sounds like all these emotions sort themselves out with time and enjoying ourselves and being gentle with ourselves sounds good to me and I hope to Kate X

Hi Lydia - yes thank you - for me I know that dairy (or cow dairy anyway) uses lots of hormones, as I am 100% ER and PR+ then I have decided to eradicate hormones as much as I can from my diet. I do still eat got and sheep cheese as over here they are allowed to forage naturally…Also the dairy industry is innately cruel.
Its a minefield isn´t it!!!

Hi all!! It’s a minefield isn’t it, and so confusing at times! Rev cat very kindly gave me the good advice she posts above when I first joined this forum (oooh, all of a fortnight ago!!) , namely that “if you decide x, and the cancer returns, will you wish you’d decided y instead?” it’s been a good rule of thumb… At the moment it helps me balance joy in the life I have today and trust in the life I hope to be protecting for tomorrow. I know it’s all too easy for my friends to say it’s the quality of life that matters, not it’s length…but I’m 45. Rather selfishly I want both!

WOW :slight_smile: Thank you for all your comments they have been very helpful.I actually feel a bit better now and I am going to STOP beating myself up…I have been battered enough just lately.I am going to make a consious effoet to eat more green stuff and excercise more and get my life back on track and find my new ‘normal’
Thanks again everyone
Kate x


Sascha - Do you live outside the UK? In the UK dairy cows are not routinely given any hormones. Also, there are many different systems for producing milk and keeping dairy cows, so it might be considered a bit of a sweeping statement to say that they are all cruel. Again, in the UK, many of the systems used to keep milking goats and sheep are similar to those used to keep dairy cows.

If your viewpoint is that it is unacceptable to use animals or animal products for food, fair enough. Otherwise I would tend to agree with Lydia.

Having said that, as Revcat ably points out, it’s about making choices that you personally are comfortable with and can live with whatever the outcome.

Kate - and everyone else.

I have two strongly held views.

  1. STOP FEELING GUILTY! No one thing you did, or did not do, gave you breast cancer. No one thing will stop you from getting it again.

  2. Life is a risk sport. Having a glass or three of wine may increase my risk of getting breast cancer again, So what?! I ride horses and so greatly increase my risk of suffering severe head injury every time I get on one. I drive on busy and dangerous roads - sometimes just for pleasure! We all have different attitudes to risk in different areas of our lives.

By all means, lose weight, eat more fruit and veg, give up alcohol - it will have all sorts of health benefits - but you might still get cancer again. There are no guarantees and no simple cause and effect.

It does take a bit of time to put it all into perspective, but if the feelings of guilt persist - or if fear of recurrance starts affecting your ability to get on and enjoy your life, do seek help. A few chats with a suitable counsellor/professional may help you come to terms with it all.

Good luck!


Hello Kate ( and other ladies on here), My spin on this is that I believe that everything should be in moderation. This not only includes our intake of eating and drinking but also exercise! Never have done much of that!
I have been living with BC for 23 years now and the only bit of wisdom I have to offer is do not waste time worrying. I feel I have done that…but not anymore. I believe what will be wil be and I will deal with whatever arises as it comes. I am stil here and enjoying life even although I have a few health issues at the moment and am waiting for an operation next week.
I was a slim, non drinking, no drugs, not smoking and a fit sort of person who excercised in moderation and breast fed my 2 kids. Yet I still got Breast cancer which was eventually diagnosed when I was 39 although I had had the lump investigated a few years before that.
But it all takes time. When you are undergoing the tests, treatments and ops you are too busy to actually sit back and reflect. Once the treatment is over you have time to ponder and realise what you have actually been through. I can honestly say that things do get better as you come to terms with it all.
I have a glasss or two of wine as the mood takes me or a G and T stiing in the garden. I eat dairy, meat and all the usual stuff. I have never been a ready meal sort of person nor do I buy jusnk food. Yet we eat well and I do like to cook and bake when i am well enough to do so. As I am using crutches at the moment My OH has taken over this roll for the meantime. I hope this helps. Take care, Val

Hi again
D and Val fantastic reading your posts…they really helped.
Val we are the very same here never buy procesed foods or ready meals…My husband would never allow it as he is a chef (and a rather excellent one).We always eat good fresh food BUT TOO MUCH OF IT…I need to learn portion control to be able to lose any weight.Not really being used to much excersice I recon to just start off walking would be good…do you agree?and then hey who knows RIO 2016…ERMMM MAYBE NOT!! hahaa
Thanks again
Kate x

Walking is good exercise, particularly if you put a bit of oomph into it, but even if you just go out for a stroll you can get the chance to breathe and switch off for a while, or give yourself time to think about stuff if that’s what you prefer to do. So even if you don’t lose an ounce, going out for a walk will still be good for you. Better if you have a dog or you can borrow one, as they stop you brooding on things by insisting you throw the ball/stick/toy/their favourite thing, and other dog owners nod and pass the time of day if you’re a regular. And if you’re on AIs, weight-bearing exercise like walking is good for your bones.

This thinking too much thing really is a bu***r though, isn’t it. I’d love not to think about BC but every hot flush brings it rushing back to the front of my mind. :frowning:

It’s a bit like the come-down after any stress. If you’re in the middle of moving house, or getting divorced, or shorter term if you have an argument or a shock, while you’re in the middle of it you just get on and deal with it as efficiently as you can. But afterwards you invariably have a reaction. This is physiological, an antidote to the adrenalin, and it has a physiological effect. You feel tired, perhaps wobbly, maybe tearful, and THAT’S NATURAL. And not something you can do a lot about, other than bear in mind that that feeling doesn’t have to last. One way to deal with that feeling is to talk about it, and you’re doing that right now, so don’t apologise for letting go on here, that’s the whole point. Because the people who read your post know just what you mean.

Rambling again, but you get the idea, I hope.


Thank you all for your kind and helpful advice. It does help to talk about it. Especially thank you, CM. I was divorced years ago and had forgotten how the resonances from that little nightmare went on for the longest time, and just when I thought I was over it something would bring it back and I’d be in tears again. The fact I’d forgotten that so completely kindof proves your point. Now I’m going for a walk!